Reclaim November Ohio!
Our recent project focused on the U.S. Congressional race in Ohio’s 16th District. Here, due to redistricting, two incumbent members of Congress were pitted against each other in the November 2012 election: Republican Jim Renacci and Democrat Betty Sutton. Both candidates had established records on economic issues — an area of particular importance to the people of Ohio. The race between the candidates was extremely close and hotly contested. And in the months leading up to the election, the Renacci-Sutton campaign had already veered into the gutter, according to a leading Ohio newspaper.
We partnered with community groups, the media and academic institutions to hold three Citizens Election Forums in Ohio’s 16th District. Each forum brought together 24 citizens randomly selected from the district, assuring a demographically representative sample. These citizens studied the complexities of the economic issues facing the people of Ohio and evaluated the candidates’ responsiveness in addressing those issues.
We were thrilled when both Reps. Renacci and Sutton agreed to participate in the October Forum (CEF3). After spending more than an hour talking with each of the candidates, the Forum participants issued an evaluation of the solutions that the Representatives presented on the three economic issues chosen by the July participants.